Three Dutchess County store clerks sold booze to a 19-year-old during a State Police alcohol law compliance check on Tuesday, cops said.
Police and their young volunteer visited 18 stores in all, sending the teenager inside the shops to buy beer while plainclothes investigators watched. Employees at 15 stores refused to sell beer to the teen, but police said three others made the sales without asking for identification.
Employees at the Verbank Deli in Union Vale, the Van Wyck General Store in LaGrange and a Shell gas station in LaGrange were each charged with first-degree unlawfully dealing with a minor, a misdemeanor.
Those charges are separate from the disciplinary actions and civil penalties the store owners could face from the State Liquor Authority. The authority has discretion when considering individual cases, but can revoke a store's liquor license after only one violation.
More than 60,000 stores are licensed to sell alcohol by New York State, according to the liquor authority. State Police conduct random checks, usually monthly, on local shops, delis and gas stations where beer is typically purchased.